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Training offered as part of efforts to boost the number of heart attack survivors.

COURTESY PHOTO: WOODBURN FIRE DISTRICT - Woodburn Fire District personnel are offering CPR classes to community members, part of the districts advanced life support training.The Woodburn Fire District announced that it is offering CPR instruction for residents who live and work within the area served by the district.

WFD Chief Joe Budge said the CPR classes are taught by firefighters at the main station on Newberg Highway, and the program is part of an effort to improve the survivability rates in cardiac arrest cases.

According to the American Red Cross, 475,000 Americans experience a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting each year. The early initiation of bystander CPR will sustain the life of a cardiac arrest victim while waiting for the arrival of emergency responders.

The fire district surveyed and shared results of 16 cardiac arrest incidents that occurred in the district within the past year. Ten people received bystander CPR prior to the arrival of firefighter paramedics, and the majority of those regained a spontaneous pulse and blood pressure prior to ambulance transport to a hospital emergency department.

"If there is a bystander trained in CPR who recognizes a cardiac arrest and is ready, willing and able to act, they can double or triple survival rates if they begin immediate CPR," Budge said. "Empowering our community members to provide CPR will save lives in this community."

In addition to learning CPR, class participants will become knowledgeable in the use of automatic external defibrillators or AEDs, which deliver life-saving shocks that can restart the heart of a cardiac arrest victim. AEDs are found in public buildings including schools, churches, shopping malls and any place where groups of people gather.

Attendees also will receive instruction on the Pulse Point app that alerts CPR-trained individuals of the occurrence of a cardiac arrest within a quarter-mile radius of their location.

Budge noted that the CPR program launched following the start of the district's advanced life support or ALS program funded by the 2018 levy. ALS ensures that a firefighter paramedic with advanced life support training is always on duty.

The advanced life support program and community CPR initiative are part of the district's effort to raise the percentage of cardiac survivability well above the national average, Budge said. "The Woodburn Fire District is extremely grateful for the support of the district's commitment to improve and maintain the safety and well-being of the residents of the communities we serve."

The CPR classes will be offered frequently. Class schedules are posted on the fire district website. The classes are funded by tuition charges, and the district hopes to offset the $80 per person cost by establishing community partners who support the program.

For information about the community CPR classes including class sign-ups and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.woodburnfire.com/programs/#cpr or call the main fire station at 503-982-2360.


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